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'The Necklace' Marxist Theory

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Andrew Cholock

on 18 March 2013

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Transcript of 'The Necklace' Marxist Theory

by Guy de Maupassant "The Necklace" What is Marxist Critical Theory? ENG3U Ms. Pollard Additional Aspects of the Story Atmosphere: In the short story "The Necklace" the author presents the life of Mathilde with a sad and dreary atmosphere. She is unhappy because she cannot afford luxuries in life and is confined to a poor lifestyle.

Narrative Viewpoint: This story is told through a 3rd person point of view. The author mentions the characters as "he" or "she", allowing you to see the entire story and not just from the eyes of a character which could leave out details. Marxist theory is a way of looking at a story, movie, or society in ways that bring out different meanings. It is meant to look at things in a different perspective, looking at things in a way that change your views. It brings your attention to the struggles between different classes in societies or the people within these classes. In Marxist theory there are two main groups, the proletariat, and the bourgeois. The proletariat group of people is the ones who usually live in a lower class and have jobs that are more demanding. Jobs that people do not want to do, and work on towards reaching the next group/class. The Bourgeois is the more middle class of society, it’s where people want to be and have more steady jobs that are not as physically demanding. This separation of jobs and responsibilities are what change and shape how societies are formed and interact. It’s often what helps societies progress, the things that the different classes do helps advance the society. A person will invent something in a high class of society, make people at the low end of society make it, and then sell it to the middle class of people. If everyone were at the middle/high class of society there would be a lack luxuries that were fabricated or made for them. It’s the struggles and issues in each group that this theory focuses on. Karl Marx (1818-1883) was a theorist and a historian. He observed the social organization within a scientific way giving him the vision that social engagement is comprised of classes, which conflict and work with each other. He believed that it was this push that drives societies through different jobs and things that need to be done. Plot Diagram Exposition Mathilde is described as a young beautiful woman
who deserves better than what she has, and is in
the lower class in the society. Inciting Incident Ms. Loisel receives a ball invitation from her husband hoping that it would make her happier. Conflict 1 She then becomes unhappy because she
has nothing to wear. She owns no fancy
dresses or types of jewlery. Conflict 2 She buys a new gown with the money that her husband saved up for hunting. She is still undecided weather to go because she has no jewelry. Conflict 3 Mathilde borrows a necklace
from a Ms. Forestier. Conflict 4 They run into problems when she looses the necklace, and pays for a new one. Conflict 5 They move into a smaller house and work more often to pay off the money that they owe. They spend 10 years paying it off. Turning Point After she pays off all the debts that she owed
She meets up with Madame Forestier to tell
her that for the past 10 years she has been
paying it off. After all of the conflicts that have happened it seems that it's all going to be settled when she pays it off. After the trouble of finding a dress, necklace. It seems things will take a turn for the better. Climax Madame Forestier tells her that it
was a fake diamond necklace. This takes the story into thinking that everything that she did, could have had the same results as if she bought a fake necklace. She wouldn't of had to borrow the necklace, but most importantly it all would have been resolved if she would have came out truthfully. Three Significant Passages "She suffered endlessly, feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury." This quote is important to the stories relationship to marxism. It signifies that Mathilde lies in the category of a poletariet in her social system. This means that she will stive to feel like or become part of the higher social classes. It is that feeling that drives Mathilde to borrow the necklace and go purchase a fancy dress. This causes the central conflict in the story because she felt she could not go to the ball dressed in simple clothes which she would wear elsewhere. She felt as though she needed to be part of the high classes of the social higherarchy "She was the prettiest woman present, elegant, graceful, smiling, and quite above herself with happiness." At this point in the story Mathilde is beginning to feel as if she has become part of the higher social class and is accepted by them. She is happy due to the satisfaction of being welcomed by these people and forgets that she is of a lower class.
It is whenever she looses the necklace that she is reminded of her status, which then becomes worse due to her trying to pay off the replacement. "Oh my poor Mathilde! But mine was imitation. It was worth at the very most five hundred Francs." This passage is the climax of the story because the story has been built to give you the impression that the necklace was worth a lot. It is at this point that you realize that it was a fake necklace and Mathilde has spent a great amount of her life paying off a real one.
This creates situational irony because had Mathilde not lied to Madame Forestier about the necklace, then she would not have wasted so much time and money in effort of covering up her mistake.
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